Only a few years ago, many business owners had very little knowledge of crisis communications; in the last 20 years, however, crisis communication has become an essential part of every organization. Whether you sell baby aspirin or run a huge power conglomerate, chances are you’ll eventually find yourself in a situation that calls for professional crisis communications assistance.
What is a Crisis?
Crises come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Any event or situation that has the potential to significantly damage your reputation or interrupt business is considered a crisis. It could be something as simple as a negative tweet or something as massive as a product recall or SEC investigation. The list of recent corporate crises is long and includes the Obamacare Website, the European horsemeat scandal and many others.
How to Prepare
No one likes to think that bad things are going to happen, but it’s better to take a proactive approach. First of all, form a Crisis Communications Team comprised of people who understand the impact that a big scandal could have to your company. Your team should include those with PR backgrounds who can take the reins and understand the serious consequences that can unfold. You’ll need a group of people (think along the lines of public information officers and/or company spokesman) to deal with the press if something negative does occur.
Next, brainstorm with your team. Plot out a potential crisis that could occur in your organization and then get to work on a solution. Conduct a vulnerability audit to see how susceptible your company is to scandal. What will you tell the public? The primary goal should be to minimize the damage. Never deny your involvement. In the past, lying to the public has always shown to cause even more serious damage to a company’s reputation.
In a moment’s time, a serious crisis can cause a company’s stock prices to plummet. It could be an internal issue that triggers the decline or a broader industry event that shakes the public. Take the time, money or resources necessary to build a crisis team that knows what it is doing. Address the situation, ensure your audience that you are working on a solution, and stay visible. If this seems like too much to handle, hire an outside firm to take the reins.
DreamTeamNetwork (DTN) provides high-caliber crisis communication services with personnel who have years of experience. Should a potentially damaging event occur, our team steps in, analyzes the situation, and creates and executes a strategy to minimize if not eliminate corporate damage. Our goal is to diminish the effects so that standard business procedures can resume as quickly as possible.
It could take your organization years to build a crisis team as effective as that offered by DTN. And quite frankly, you may not have years. We’ve worked with hundreds of companies and have the expertise to deal with virtually every type of crisis. Our Crisis Communications team carefully handles each phase to bring full resolution in a timely manner.
Let us partner with you to provide professional services designed to halt negative incident and transform it into positive PR.